"Increase in unemployment figures concerning" Conor Murphy MP, MLA
concern at the continued rise in unemployment figures released today,
Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson, Conor Murphy MP, MLA (Newry/Armagh) said
that he believes that there is more that can be done to arrest the
Conor Murphy said:
“While there is no quick fix to the issue of unemployment there are measures that could be pursued more rigorously. While the Minister, Arlene Foster seems to take consolation in the fact that the percentage figures are lower than in Britain this is of little comfort to those who find themselves with no prospect of work.
“For instance Banks are still not assisting local enterprise and individual business people quite as enthusiastically has they expected the taxpayer to help them. Small to medium enterprises, despite their potential for job creation are finding it extremely difficult to access financial support through the banks. More pressure needs to be put on the financial sector to assist in job creation by relaxing the suffocating conditions placed on borrowers.
“While there may not be any quick fixes, I believe that if we focus on the financing and other areas that we can influence we will hasten the recovery. In terms of enhancing capacity, I believe that there is a need for an increase in the availability of apprenticeships and for retraining and up-skilling opportunities for those who have been made redundant in order that they can re-enter the workforce when the economy does begin to recover.
“Where is the Special Enterprise zone promised for here by David Cameron. He also promised to deliver proposals on rebalancing our economy in October of last year, they have still not materialised. It is abundantly clear that the British government focus is on rebalancing Britain’s economy with the North of Ireland being only peripheral to the thinking of the British Treasury.
“It is clear that British government economic policy is not providing the impetus required to kick-start our recovery. All parties here need to unite in demanding that David Cameron deliver on his promises and bring forward his proposals for rebalancing our economy now.“In the meantime there should be better collaboration between the Executive and Dublin Ministers on joint procurement and delivery of goods and services to eliminate duplication and waste with the savings invested in an all-Ireland jobs creation strategy.”